“It is a disgrace that a noble gesture on the occasion of the feast of Saint Sava – when packages are handed out to children for this great holiday among Serbs, which is supported by relevant institutions so that children preserve their identity – was denigrated and compromised with totally unnecessary, silly and extremely harmful messages,” Pupovac told Hina during a visit to Belgrade on Tuesday.
Commenting on a post on social media in which a member of the Serbian delegation, Miloš Stojković, spoke about Knin as an “occupied Serbian city”, the restoration of the “Republic of Serbian Krajina” and the removal of the Croatian flag from the Knin Fortress, he said there was no place for such statements in current relations between Serbia and Croatia.
“Maybe those messages should show someone in Serbia how someone was a hero at the Knin Fortress, how someone was a hero in Croatia… But speaking the language of war, competing in war stories and war rhetoric – this is something that can have no place not only in that action but today, because it is harmful both for young Serbs and for young Croats, it is harmful for Serbia and Croatia,” the SNV leader said.
According to him, the incident at the Knin Fortress “cast a stain for a while on everything that Serbia and its citizens have done and are doing” in helping the earthquake victims in Sisak-Moslavina County.
“I believe that we all have actually realised that such attempts are a great disgrace not just for the people who did it, but that we will rise above it and see that there are many more who are guided by the need to be in solidarity, to be close to each other and to move on from stories of war to stories of peace, stories in which we will renew mutual ties, strengthen economic and cultural cooperation while at the same time showing that we know how to respect suffering on both sides,” Pupovac said.
At the Croatian Embassy on Tuesday evening, Pupovac attended a humanitarian campaign by Serbian artists who raised about €7,000 in aid for the victims of a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the Banovina region of central Croatia on 29 December. Pupovac said that this gesture had “exceptional value, not just symbolic, but above all human.”